Sunday, July 19, 2015

2015 Shoreline Half-Marathon

Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 74°F, 87% Humidity, Wind: W @ 10 mph.
Route: Shoreline Half-Marathon
Time (Pace): 2:01.18 (9:15 min/mile)
Pre-Race Observations: When I went to bed last night the weather called for occasional thunderstorms with a chance of rain. Like most in upstate New York, I was awoken at 4:00 a.m.-ish this morning by the weather alert alarm on my cell phone (as well as that of my wife's). Following the light and water show, I was ready to get ready for the run which would commence in two hours up at Hamlin Beach State Park.

At the risk of jinxing myself (uh-oh, I think I just may have!), having run the Boilermaker last weekend, followed the training plan of choice and scouting the route this past Monday, I feel as ready as ever for this morning's run which culminates my most recent training phase. With bettering my most recent half-marathon, 1:50.31 (8:26 min/mile) in April, as a target, I am confident that my goal is within reach.

Now that the rains have ceased and the clouds are clearing its time once again to hit the roads and challenge my self to be my greatest competition, myself.

Post-race Reflections: Sometimes it's enough to finish a race with a hint of a smile (smirk? grimace?) on your face. The humidity was intense and so it felt much warmer than the temperature suggested. For the first time I seriously contemplated quitting and it was at that moment that doubt crept in that any aspirations for some sort of personal best went out the window. Despite a good start (reflecting back, it really wasn't a matter of "going out too fast, but a matter of running out of momentum), at mile 7 I psychologically fell out of my groove. Once that occurs it is difficult to find it again.

I've often joked that in marathons, I spend miles 19-20 trying to figure out how to save face by dropping out without anyone noticing. Today that game took place earlier and the only "solution" was to continue moving forward albeit in a run-walk-run manner. It would be easy to be discouraged in my effort, but it was a challenging day for everyone. Just as last week's Boilermaker was not a "PR course" for recreational runners, today's weather made what could have been a flat, fast course merely survivable (for me anyway).

I finished the half-marathon course in 2:01.18 (9:15 pace), good for 182nd place out of a total of 828 finishers. Along with a 15th place finish of 44 in my age group (M 45-49), I was able to finish in the top 50%, one of my general goals.

At mile 8 I told myself I'd never run another road race again, but twelve hours later (as I sit on the front porch reflecting on the race), I begin to wonder what might be next. After a week's rest (doing the 15k last weekend and the half this was not my brightest idea and I need to rest), I'll begin making some decisions. Like a past-his-prime prize fighter, I always think I have at least one good good run left in me, and I'm still looking for the right competition to rove it.

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